Kohima, Oct 13: A distressing incident of ragging at the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) Tura campus in Meghalaya has come to light, with a student from Nagaland reportedly subjected to severe hazing by senior students.
The incident allegedly occurred on the night of October 8 in the Arbella Boys’ hostel. According to reports, the victim, an MBA student in the Department of Agri-Business Management, was called out of his room after about 1 a.m. He was then taken to the basement by a group of students who appeared to be his seniors.
Exploiting a power outage, the perpetrators used their mobile phone flashlights to verbally abuse him and coerced him into degrading actions. The student, overcome by fear and panic, complied after reportedly being physically assaulted by the offenders. The following day, the student left the hostel campus and returned to Nagaland, where he filed a police report.
Subsequently, the Naga Students’ Union in Shillong (NSUS) has called for action against those responsible for the incident. The NSUS has written to NEHU Vice-Chancellor Professor Prabha Shankar Shukla, demanding his immediate intervention and justice for the student within 24 hours.
The Mima Students’ Union (MSU), based in Kohima, has also taken up the matter, lodging a strong complaint with NEHU authorities. MSU President Meteiienuo Ngukha has raised the issue with the Angami Krotho in Shillong, urging them to intervene and champion the case to seek justice for the student.
Ngukha stated, “The union is utterly shocked and saddened that such heinous acts are being committed towards an innocent and hardworking member of our union. The union condemns the practice of ragging or violence in any form.”
As of now, NEHU authorities have not issued a statement regarding the incident, but NEHU Vice-Chancellor Professor Prabha Shankar Shukla is expected to release an official statement on the matter later today.
Reports also suggest that despite being informed of the incident, the West Garo Hills police have not yet taken action, citing the absence of an official complaint. It’s important to note that the police have the authority to initiate cases on their own (suo moto) in cases where no official complaint has been lodged.
Ragging is a punishable offense in India, and the law stipulates that anyone found guilty of participating in or abetting ragging within or outside an educational institution may face imprisonment for up to two years, a fine of up to ten thousand rupees, or both. If the specific individuals involved are not identified, all participants in or present at the ragging activity are liable for punishment under the Act. Collective punishment may be imposed to serve as a deterrent and exert collective pressure on potential triggers.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of addressing and eradicating the harmful practice of ragging in educational institutions to ensure the safety and well-being of students.